My father flunked the 6th grade twice. He was probably dyslexic, among other things, back in the days when dyslexia was called “stupidity.”
He wasn’t a high school dropout, because he never made it to high school. He dropped out of the 8th grade to support his widowed mother in the Great Depression. He ultimately died early of liver cirrhosis.
He sometimes predicted that I would wind up in prison if I didn’t first get sent to the state mental hospital.
But he was always around and had a good job. He helped raise four children who earned a total of nine college degrees including a Ph.D. in Physics and a J.D. in Law. His presence was the main reason that I defied his prediction, despite my worst efforts.
The illegitimacy rate among blacks in America is 77%. That’s right, over three-quarters of black babies in America are born to single mothers. Of the remaining 23% of black babies born to a mother with a husband, that husband frequently disappears.
By the way, this 77% figure for black illegitimacy is up from only 19% in 1940. That was back when racism was truly alive in America but before Great Society programs in the 60’s started paying unmarried women to have children.
Call me racist, but I think having a father is important.
Maybe science is racist too, because science agrees with me. Studies show that children growing up with fathers are less likely to become criminals and less likely to be poor. They do better in school and are more able to hold a job. The real white privilege is the privilege of white children to have a father.
Without the white privilege of a father on the scene, blacks are afflicted with a monstrous violent crime rate, poverty rate, dropout rate and unemployment rate.
I’m not saying this is all the fault of black culture. Maybe it’s the fault of that systemic racism thing, as in …
Or maybe it’s just bad luck. Or maybe something else. But whatever the cause, it’s a catastrophe.
My mother was my father’s wife. (These days, that statement is not obvious.) She was the only person he was close to. She mattered to him. It was his love for her that kept him around. If not for that one key fact, my life would be completely different. If not for the fact that his wife mattered to my father, I would probably be imprisoned or dead today.
Black lives matter. I’m not saying, of course, that the lives of other races don’t matter, because that would be racist. And I’m not saying that the lives of other races do matter, because that would be racist as well, I’m told, and could even get me stabbed by someone at a big accounting firm.
I’m just saying … um .…
Anyway, as Joe Biden might say, let’s on move. We can all agree that black lives matter without getting sidetracked on the troublesome tangent about other lives. So a question presents.
What can we do to preserve and enhance those black lives?
The feel-good cause du jour is that we should stop the police from murdering them.
OK, I agree. But that seldom happens. If we stop all police murders of blacks, that would save at most a few black lives a year. (Query: While we’re at it, could we stop the cops from killing other races as well, since that’s also rare but more common than cops killing blacks? Or would that be racist?)
The studies I cited above suggest that a better way to preserve and enhance literally millions of black lives is for their fathers to be married to their mothers when they grow up, as my father was married to my mother. How about a culture among black men where not just their lives matter, but also their wives?
We once had a president who was uniquely qualified to speak to this issue. Although he was biracial, he identified as black which was the race of his absent father. But instead of leading his people out of the wilderness, he pandered to them. He wanted to be black more than he wanted to be a man.
Will another black leader be more courageous? For the sake of whites and especially blacks, and for all of America, let’s hope so. Let’s pray for a black leader — and in the meantime for white leaders — with the courage to say, “black lives – and wives – matter.”
Barack Obama had a grandfather who filled the role of his absent biological father. That boy had more white privilege than anyone I know.
Unfortunately, he also had Frank Marshall Davis. But you’re right. Punahou School was the standard bearer for white privilege in Honolulu.
Standard bearer for upscale privilege. I am sure Punahou was not the only prep school in Hawaii but it was the flagship prep school even before Barack Obama made it world famous. Hawaii is Hawaii. I doubt Punahou was ever nearly all-white anytime during Obama’s lifetime.
To new world 3000: No, Punahou wasn’t ALL-white; it had plenty of room for Samoan football players such as Mosi Tatupu. But I’ll accept your distinction: Obama enjoyed class privilege, rather than white privilege.
Thanks. Great essay.
One of your best articles
This isn’t just a black problem. Charles Murray identified this as a problem in the white working-class in “Coming Apart.” I can see this in my own family where my wife’s nephew at age 30 has had three or four children by several different women, none of whom he has married. This isn’t a uniquely black problem but an American problem. Unfortunately, this is a genie that will be difficult to put back in the bottle. We can’t fix poverty, crime and drug abuse without stable families.
Hi Mark. You are right. It isn’t just a ‘black’ problem, however the percentage black babies being born to single black women at 77% is much higher than that of whites, asian, hispanics etc. The point of the article is that sons and daughters without a father in the home (and being a decent Dad) is a recipe for disaster for the kids. This is borne out if one looks at mainly the cities across the country. Candace Owens, (a spunky 31 yr. old outspoken black women) decries much of the common narrative coming from much of the democrat party line and most media outlets (and their echo chamber talking heads), by simply stating that the biggest problem facing many (not all) blacks across the country is…..Fatherless black homes, period. Her words not mine and she has said this over and over again for several years.
We have similar backgrounds – my father also stopped school in the 8th grade – to earn money
for his widowed mother – who later married a step father – his mother mattered to him and his
brother and two sisters – my mother quit school in the 11th grade to work as a secretary for her
father in his real estate business – at 18 she and our father eloped from Bellingham and fled to
California where dad’s sister and husband had work and a place to live – dad became a smoker
and alcoholic and died of many things at age 66 – smoking and drinking are deadly – but all of
that time he went to work every day and held good jobs – and he cared about mom and between
the efforts of the two of them they stayed together – and raised 5 children – we all finished high
school and I completed 3 years at the UW before I said that was enough and my other sibling
had a bit of college – we are not drinkers or smokers – mom never drank or smoked –
I am the oldest of the 5 of us – with a lot of hard work and calculated risk taking and good luck
I have become a multi millionaire and a safety net for my sibling and keep them in a respectable
economic position – we all loved our (now deceased) mom and dad – they were great parents –
they were not perfect but who is? – we were very lucky to have them – they were married during
the great depression – which changed them a lot –
so we have similar backgrounds in our early lives –
I admire what you do with your writing – in spite of being in the minority politically – great stuff –
please keep doing it – much appreciated by me – I love Aspen but am distressed that it has
become so liberal – when I first lived here in 1966 it was a solid conservative state
Absolutely spot on. Nothing frustrates me more than watching the steady decline of the black community, year in and year out, getting worse in proportion to the largesse we bestow on them. Surely someone in power realizes what’s going on. Many, in fact.
And that’s the problem.
Super – provides needed push-back against the Stupid Party which says we can fix inner city problems with opportunity zones, education, etc. Fatherless families is the mother-of-all ills.
Spot on. However, it will be an uphill battle to lower the illegitimacy rate among any group. The libs and I guess society in general want kids to practice safe sex. How about no sex? It’s a fair question, but one that will get you laughed out of the room.
A few years back I taught at an inner city middle school. I had an acquaintance who taught at one of the high schools in the same district, also inner city. It was a magnet school for health sciences and foreign languages. This acquaintance taught in the health sciences side and he focussed on teaching wellness classes (whatever they are). In order to give the students different perspectives on living, he invited lots of guest speakers. One time he invited a couple of Mormon missionaries. These two young men explained what their life was like as missionaries. At one point someone in the audience asked about dating and the two missionaries replied that they were not allowed to date. At that point someone else asked how they managed to have sex. The two missionaries replied that not only did they not have sex, they were both virgins.
The class went into a madhouse of surprise, incredulity, etc. etc. In short, they were not believed because, “You can’t live without sex!” No amount of explanation could get the students to understand that there are people, young people at that, who do not have sex all the time and on every date.
A PhD in political science once told me that those who preach abstinence to middle schoolers should be shot.
The great and obscene irony in the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is that the Marxist organization bearing that name is thoroughly opposed to the nuclear family, as well as to heterosexuality as a normative concept. Oh, how they hate your use of the word “illegitimacy.”
As the child of an alcoholic and largely absentee father, I commend you for what is called “speaking truth to power.”
I deeply admire and appreciate your work. I think that you and I would probably hit it off if we ever met, perhaps even become friends, because your columns bespeak an intellect and heart that are sympatico with mine. I say all this as preface to what comes next, namely, that your factually correct, insightful commentary on this issue was a waste of your time to have written, and mine to have read. Not that there is anything in the slightest inaccurate or wrong with what you have stated, quite the contrary, but rather that it is utterly meaningless, since the subjects of your essay, black/African American/”people of color,” or what have you, will never read your column, would not understand your importunings if they did read it and would only take offense at your suggestions, not adopt them. They will not in significant numbers, in my lifetime or yours, ever resume normal family structures, regardless of the statistics and studies which establish the benefits of such. Why should they, since official whiteydom has put the stamp of approval on their behavior. Observe how nearly all national businesses have adopted BLM and how our political masters in Washington as well as most state capitols cater and kow-tow (can I still use that phrase, or am I prohibited by the rules of cultural appropriation?) to the demands to disavow “systemic racism,” perhaps the single most fatuous phrase ever uttered in human history. Please excuse me if I sound unappreciative of your efforts, but honestly, I have been laid low with Negro fatigue. I am tired beyond description of all the whining and whinging, hand-wringing and finger-pointing, not to mention the burning, looting and pulling-down of statutes that have become our standard daily fare. I no longer think there is any hope of repairing the breach made in our civilizational wall, but will carry on my daily life as if the sorry plight of most blacks in America today is none of my concern. Because it isn’t.
Superlative article. You are right on the money. My parents weren’t perfect, but they were there, worked hard, and loved each other to distraction. We were pretty poor growing up with seven in the household. My grandmother lived with us and my folks raised four of us kids who’ve lived on the right side of the law. My father was the first in his family to graduate from high school; three of the four children he helped raise graduated from college, one with two degrees.
I think your idiom “black WIVES matter” is true and should be spread far and wide. It might make some young men think about their actions and choose a wiser path.
I agree with your comments, and recognize how unfortunate it is that, as Steve says, they won’t be read or followed by the people who need them the most (and not only blacks, but all people, whose lives and those of their children matter).
I think that the only people who have a chance of “getting through” to the black underclass are other black people that they admire — which in too many cases means black sports stars or entertainers.
But for civil, law abiding Americans of all races, I think that the black leader that we need now is Condoleezza Rice, to be the next vice president under either Biden or Trump (and in either case quite possibly the next president, considering their advanced ages).
The only Rice that Biden might choose is Susan Rice. As for Trump, if Pence weren’t available and if Candace Owens were old enough, Owens would be the black Sarah Palin on steroids. How I’d love to see her debate any black female candidate Biden might come up with!
In any case, I think you and Steve should place more faith and hope in the black community, which surely isn’t well represented by the Antifa and BLM Marxists that are fighting their last, desperate Battle of the Bulge offensive in an effort to unseat Trump.
Glenn, old friend, if I can presume that: On this subject of the decadence in contemporary black culture you have produced just one more great piece–it seems like this sort of excellence comes easy to you, maybe that you write in your sleep, or between tennis matches, or…effortlessly is what I mean. Keep up the great work.
Of course your sociology is correct and I have been reading about the absentee father problem among blacks for many years, WITHOUT READING ANY ATTEMPT AT REFUTATION, EVER. And that is why the absence of refutation and no easy way to correct the absentee father problem, BLM’s manifesto promotes immoralityregarding marriage/family and homosexuality, not to mention any other aspects of natural law, common sense, reality, life.
And, finally, your columns produce some of the best comments by readers regarding the lib/lefty/”progressive”/moral relativist/subjectivist/humanist/secularist/Democrat idiocy and insanity about which you write. Keep up the great work.
And, Aspen Times, you can go to hell.
You know it’s the truth when it gives you the chills. And such a factual presentation of how those attempting to fix the problem with government funds actually create a worse problem…which usually leads to some kind of government dependence. Even Ben Carlson said on the news the other night: He’s been trying to get some HUD rules changed where those in govt housing don’t lose their apt or have rent raised when they get a job. In addition: the single mom has lower rent by far. So the govt has built in an incentive to be a single mom. He said it has been almost impossible to get it changed. He’s discouraged. These backwards govt handout incentives are creating an anarchical society for the Black Community. And now they will delve deeper into the complete breakdown of their communities with no rules and no one to uphold any kind of moral decency. In the guise of giving them more….actually more and more is taken away. Jan
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